I’ve found that it takes me about four years to be ready to blog about something hard in my life. So here we are.
Four years ago my birthday blog post was called “A Warrior’s Tale.” Of the few pieces of creative writing I’ve done, it might be my favorite (even if all its Facebook “Likes” have been removed).
Maybe that’s because I know what was behind it. That piece of work was born through retching sobs.
My birthday post has been an annual tradition since my blog started in 2009, and in 2016 I was ahead of the game, having already written one for it in July.
Then came August 2016. Continue reading “Reflections on my 63rd Birthday: The Box of Things I Don’t Know What to Do With”
I’ve spoken in a number of Christian school chapels over the years. As a professional storyteller I’d speak in chapel with a true story from one of my missionary books, and then as the “visiting author” I’d go around to the classrooms and answer questions.
One of the questions I’d often get was this: “If your life were written as a story, what would you want it to say?”
(A student would ask it, but I always had a sneaking suspicion that it was a teacher who came up with the question.)
My reply would consistently be, “Oh, I’d never want my life to be written as a story. My life is way too boring.” Continue reading “Reflections on my 62nd birthday: “What if your life were written as a story?””
In the early- to mid-1990s, we sat in our first church small group. (We’d been wanting small groups in our previous independent Baptist church, but the pastor wouldn’t allow them.)
This first one for us was at Bean Blossom Mennonite Church—which I’ve blogged about before, here—the church with the “Strangers Expected” sign over the front door, the church where the entire congregation sang in four-part harmony, the first church I joined where the women wore pants, where I couldn’t possibly bring myself or allow my daughter to do the same, a now-embarrassing memory that I can perhaps explore one day in a therapist’s chair. Continue reading “Reflections on my 61st birthday: “Why don’t I ever meet those people?””
Sixty years is one of those zero milestones, you know. So I’m remembering.
I remember when I was about 30, standing in the large auditorium of my fundamentalist church holding my baby, looking around at the people and thinking, “Where are all those older women who are supposed to be helping me?” They appeared to all be so busy with their own lives and activities. Continue reading “Reflections on my 60th birthday: reframing my name”
“You have said you are Incapable?” He stood tall, looking down on her.
“Yes,” she stammered. “That’s my name.” She pulled a wisp of hair from her eye where it had stuck because of her tears.
He responded simply. “Your new name is Warrior.”
Her eyes darted up to His. Was that kindness she saw there, or was He laughing at her?
“It doesn’t fit,” she replied with a slight shrug and looked down. How could His garment be so white, so shining?
It appeared that He hadn’t heard her. From out of somewhere, He produced Continue reading “Reflections on my 59th birthday: a warrior’s tale”
In January of this past year, I completed the marathon of 24 years of homeschooling. And yes, that is every bit as big a deal as it sounds, and I’ll add that all my homeschooled kiddos are surviving the Real World and, as far as I can tell, they’re overcoming all the things I did wrong.
Two weeks ago today, our number three out of four was married. Continue reading “Reflections on my 58th birthday: found faithful”
When I was sixteen, my mother put an ancient plain-covered hardback book in my hands, wanting me to read it. It had the most boring title ever, Stepping Heavenward. This was her book when she was young, she said.
I groaned inwardly. Did I mention that it was ancient? And how could a book possibly have a more boring title? I assumed it was an ancient devotional book, and devotional books and I had never gotten along. Continue reading “Reflections on my 57th birthday: Stepping Heavenward”
Four years ago on this day, September 5th, 2009, I wrote my first “Reflections” piece on my blog. I mentioned something about a bleak financial picture and downsizing.
The fact of the matter was that that morning—the morning of my fifty-second birthday, we had told our children that we would be moving into our basement. Continue reading “Reflections on my 56th birthday: thoughts about moving into the basement”
Not long ago a young friend found out my age and expressed surprise. “I didn’t know you were that o—”
She stopped. “I mean. . . .” She back-pedalled. “I mean . . . you’re not old.” She blushed. “I mean, I didn’t know you were that far along.” Continue reading “Reflections on my 54th birthday: getting old”
The other day my son asked my how long ago something had happened to me. (Can’t even remember what it was right now—must be the encroaching Alzheimer’s.)
I said, “That was twenty years ago. No, wait a minute. It was THIRTY years ago. That was quick.”
“It sure was,” he said. “Ten years went by in like two seconds.”
And so it did. (Only one life, ’twill soon be past. . . .) Continue reading “Reflections on my 53rd birthday: in the blink of an eye”